Sunday, September 14, 2014

Question Commander – Melissa M

Will Ji -Li ever find true happiness?
In the book, many good things happen to Ji- Li, but right after something bad happens. Being that, every time I'm reading the book and Ji- li gets a good news I always predict that something bad is going to happen next. For example, Ji- Li was going to go to her dream school with her best friend and right after she discovers that the rules changed and that she is going to the same school as everyone. Adding, she was going to be a red successor, but her classmates insisted that the red successor should have a good family background. So, someone else replaced her since her grandfather was a landlord. Further, recently, in her new school, she noticed that no one from her old school was with her. Only her best friend, so she was very happy. Also, she was really liking her new teacher because of his beautiful voice and powerful handwriting. However, later she discovered that her father was locked up.  In the other hand, even though this happened throughout the book I think that she will soon find true happiness because she is a character that has a lot of perseverance. I think that she will keep working hard in school and try to find true happiness by continuing to be an excellent student.

What happened to Ji-Li's Uncle?
I didn't really understand why he came to Ji- Li's house with a swollen, bruised, and bloody head. I know he was at the party with Ji-Li's father, but I do not know what happened. From what I read, I think that it was the red guards who did that to him because I can't think of anyone else who would do that. 

Why did only Ji- Li's father get locked up?
I know that Ji- Li's uncle turned out with a swollen, bruised, and bloody head, but why didn't he get locked up too? I didn't really understand that either, yet I think that he ran away. I have no idea. 

I chose this image for my first question because I thought that since it's an overweight person trying to get skinnier, it would show that we should always keep trying. That relates because even if many bad things happen to Ji- Li she keeps trying to find true happiness.

I chose Mario too because he is a character that keeps trying even if he has many obstacles in his way.


  1. Your post was very nice. I think you have a very good idea of predicting. When Ji-Li gets good news, later comes bad news. Having already read this book once before, I think you have a very good outlook on how things will go for Ji-Li. From what I understood about Ji-Li's uncle, he was at a struggle meeting and finally made up a story about listening to foreign radio, and that's why he was beaten. As far as I know about Ji-Li's father, he was locked up because he didn't confess for doing something wrong. What good and bad news do you think Ji-Li will get in the next set of chapters?

  2. Melissa,

    You have great questions! For the first question, I agree with you that Ji-Li Jiang might never find true happiness. There is no point being excited when something good happens to her, because in the next paragraph something horrible will happen. I feel like the book will soon have good events occurring, but for now, Ji-Li is having a terrible life full of bad news. Ji-Li's Uncle Fan got beat-up, because he told the Red Guards that he listened to foreign radio even though he didn't. This is because Chairman Mao said that if you confess, then you will be treated leisurely. However, he lied, because people get locked up if they confess for doing something. Also, not only Ji-Li's father got locked up. On page 188, she gets to see her dad through the window carrying a pipe, but he is with Uncle Fan and two other men she doesn't know. This proves that her father wasn't the only to get locked up. Why do you think that people get accused for doing something they didn't even do? Thank you for deepening my thinking!


  3. Melissa,

    First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your post, you have lots of good evidence and details to support your answer. I decided to answer question 1, will Ji -Li ever find true happiness?

    In my opinion, yes she will. However, it's really hard to find true happiness or you can have it a one moment but then it sinks and something bad happens in your life. The second example if how Ji-Li's life is. Something great happens to her, but then sooner or later something bad occurs, and her life continues to go this way. All the examples you gave are excellent to prove both of our points. Also, happiness is not hard to achieve, it's a hard road to get down until the end. However, Ji-li keeps pushing herself further in this road, and not exactly ignoring all the bad things that happen, but getting over them and continuing with her life. If she continues to live this way, there will be a point where she will reach full happiness, due to all her perseverance and belief.

  4. Melissa,

    I really liked your question and the small paragraph you add after each one is extremely descriptive and goes along well with all of them.

    For the first question, I think Ji-li Jiang will find true happiness because nothing lasts forever and if your look up her name on google, you'll see that she's grown into a fine young woman who's achieved quite a handful of things, not to mention that, like everyone else, Chariman Mao will die and with that, no matter how hard someone else tries to be him, it just won't be same.

  5. Melissa,

    Your questions were great but I chose Will Ji -Li ever find true happiness? Since I feel like I can go into deeper thought answering that question.

    In the beginning, Ji-li was happy with herself and with everyone else. She had no problem with anything. Later on, when the Revolution started, Ji-li's life got complicated. Because she had a landlord as a grandfather, she was judged by students, her father got locked up because he was accused of doing something, her mom was mistreated by the people who used to welcome her with warm smiles every morning. Many things happened to Ji-li and the people around her causing her to live in misery. When Teacher Zhang spoke to her about being the leader of the classroom and that she can have a bright future if she wants to, Ji-li was overjoyed. She realized she still had a chance of living a happy life. I believe that Ji-li will in one way or another find happiness again.

  6. Q: What happened to Ji-Li's Uncle?

    Uncle Fan had been interrogated and tortured by the theater's communist group to confess his "counterrevolutionary" acts. In order to escape further punishment, Uncle Fan made up a story that he listened to foreign radio broadcasts. If he hadn't confessed, or said anything, they would have continued to torture and beat his face. One of the rules for interrogation and torture according to the novel was: "Leniency to those who confess, and severity to those who resist." Clearly, Uncle Fan had buckled under the psychological pressure forced on him and created a false story to protect himself from further torture. What Ji-Li's family did not know until later on in the book, was that Uncle Fan had included Ji-Li's father in the lie, saying they had both listened to foreign radio broadcasts on a short-wave radio before burying it in Fan's backyard. When the Red Guards searched for the radio and dug up the yard, they found nothing. This made them extremely suspicious of Ji-Li's father. They mistakenly thought that he was establishing counterrevolutionary ties and decided to detain him for questioning on the night of Chinese New Year.

  7. Dear Melissa,
    I really liked your images and your choice of questions in this post. The one that I feel like I can expand most on is Will Ji -Li ever find true happiness? I think that one day, she will find happiness. Throughout the book, Ji-li has shown herself as a girl who can, and at the same time has to adapt to change, in many ways. I have a feeling that in the future of the book, she will change her life style in some way, or if it is to move or if it is to change who she is, to be happy. Imagine, wouldn't you? Ji-li is still a teenage and is already thinking differently about what she could do to help her family, so when she becomes an adult she will be more independent and more risk-taking, and I agree with you that she is like Nintendo's Mario, who never gives up even with many obstacles. I have another question to ask you, and it is that if she moves, will she take her family, or at least part of it, with her?
    Lucas T.

  8. Dear Melissa,

    Your first answer was really explanatory in terms of critical thinking. Nice Job. The question that seemed the most interesting to me was the #3 -Why did only Ji- Li's father get locked up? In my opinion, that was the question that you were the most confused in based on your answer. To me, your answer wasn't all that clear; however, I saw your point about why arrest Jiang Ji-li's father.
    Now, that I realize, you are asking why didn't they just arrest her uncle instead of beating him? About that, I would really like to discuss my point of view and the answer that I think that best fit the question. Firstly, the book doesn't make any reference to the book in terms of what happened with her uncle or father, yet. Therefore, there is really no solid answer, but only if you make conclusions yourself. My conclusion is that Ji-Li's father really didn't commit a crime, but did remind what class status he really had with his co-workers. On the other hand, Ji-Li's uncle did commit a crime. China's government principles consisted on whether how good you would act against fourold concepts or low class status. Overall, I thought your questions were really intriguing because they certainly had the audience define which was the answer.